ILC 2018-05-28 IEEE WOMEN IN ENGINEERING – International Leadership Conference

LEAD BEYOND – Accelerating Innovative Women Who Change the World #WIELEAD

21-22 May 2018-05-28 San Jose, CA, USA

Gianna Avellis


WIE ILC focused on providing leading-edge, professional development and networking for mid-level and senior women and men with inspiring key notes and tracks focused on Innovation, Executive Leadership, Disruptive Technology, and Empowerment.

There were about 1400+ attendees, 100+ speakers, with attendees from 40+countries of which 90% are professionals. As conference attendee Gianna Avellis had access to plenary keynote sessions and parallel sessions, engaging tracks on innovation, empowerment, executive leadership. She had access to the exhibition and made several contacts with the partners/sponsors of the conference.

Gianna was one of the winners of the Conference participation, and have been supported by IEEE to Conference registration, travel and subsistence. Gianna contacted the past Chair of the conference, namely Nita Patel, a Systems and Software Engineering Director at L-3 Warrior Systems. Nita is the Women in Engineering International Past-Chair, 2nd VP of the Computer Society BoG and on the Eta Kappa Nu BoG. As MGA WIE Chair, Nita led the successful launch of the WIE International Leadership Conference and developed a comprehensive business strategy to fulfil the mission of WIE to inspire, engage and advance women in technology.

The location of the conference was San Jose, the capital of the Silicon Valley, and Gianna enjoyed the creativity, technology and beauty of the location, fuelling her experience within the conference by networking with successful leaders in innovation and contacting several sponsors to investigate possible support to her activities within ITWIIN and MCAA. In particular inside a Session on Women in Technology she raised the issue of Role Models and asked and accepted the collaboration of several speakers at the session who want to participate to the Role database of role models founded by HUMBOLDT University on Networking and Mobility of Women Scientists, managed by Ira Didenkulova and Gianna Avellis. More contacts with the speakers above will follow the conference. She also invited some speakers at IEE WIE ILC Sessions to come to talk as speaker at ITWIIN Awards and Conference in Venice 9 November 2018, and some invitations are under consideration following chat contacts with Zoom with them, after the conference.


Gender Summit 15 and GENERA Network meeting

King’s College London, 18-19 June 2018, London

IET, Institute of Engineering and Technology, “ Savoy Place, London 20 June 2018


The !5th Gender Summit was held for the first time in London, led by Science and Engineering South Consortium of leading universities as the principal partner. It brings together the universities of Oxford, Southampton, King’s College London, Queen Mary University of London, University College of London and imperial College, creating the most powerful hub of research intensive universities in the UK.

GS15 builds on past discussions and recommendations and tackles fresh gender issues, in the context of new concerns such as: Brexit, impact of climate change, addressing societal challenges, opportunities and consequences of digital transformations, the 4th industrial revolution, strengthening societal responsibility and relevance of research and innovation, ensuring the success of UN Sustainable Development agenda, and managing the interaction between scientific , political and policy agendas in a rapidly changing world.

The two days programme organised under the theme ”United in Science and Through Science”. Included a mixture of keynotes, plenary panel sessions and parallel sessions, as well as poster exhibition, professional networking activities, and interlinked public engagement side-events. G.Avellis participated to the parallel session on “ Constructing better inclusion and advancement conditions”, giving a talk on “A Database Role Mole Models for Women Scientists in STEM” which received a great interest from the audience and a set of questions on how to register to the database.

She was present at the session on GENERA project and was invited to participate to the GENERA Network meeting the day after the conference at IET in London by the GENERA project manager Lia Lang (DESY). Gianna Avellis attended the event at IET and identified a role for MCAA and ITWIIN as GENERA Observer in GENERA Network and will contact the GENERA project manager in the coming days to set up some agreements between the associations and GENERA project.

Ira Didenkulova gave an oral presentation “Scientific mobility within EU: benefits and challenges” at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2018

Ira Didenkulova gave an oral presentation “Scientific mobility within EU: benefits and challenges” at the Union Symposium “Scientific research in a changing European Union: where we stand and what we aim for?” at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2018.

Scientific research in a changing European Union

Dr Ira Didenkulova. Credit: EGU
Dr Ira Didenkulova. Credit: EGU

The 2018 EGU General Assembly was a huge success. Not only was it the biggest yet (with over 15,000 participants) but it also held a large variety of Short Courses, Townhalls and Union Symposia that gave the scientists attending a chance to step out of their comfort zone and learn about something other than their area of expertise.

One example of such a session was the Union Symposium titled: Scientific research in a changing European Union: where we stand and what we aim for? This session had some fantastic speakers who described some of the current challenges and potential threats to academics living in the EU as well as the advantages.

Dr Ira Didenkulova, a senior researcher in Tallinn University of Technology, closed the presentation section of the session by focusing on her personal experience of moving from Russia to Estonia soon after it had joined the European Union. She emphasised the importance of the EU’s cross-border programmes, reduced travel bureaucracy and researcher mobility while also explaining some of the benefits of research mobility such as knowledge exchange and increased collaboration. Didenkulova also mentioned the challenges that researchers living abroad may face, despite the European Union’s focus on mobility.

She highlighted some statistics that showed both female researchers and researchers who are parents are less likely to be mobile and stated that more family friendly research meetings and conferences are needed.

I think it’s notable that almost all of speakers underscored not only the abiliy but also the responsibility of scientists to engage with policymakers and the public. The optimism expressed by the speakers regarding the future of the EU despite the challenges, was also refreshing and a great message to all participants on the final day of the 2018 EGU General Assembly.  If this session inspired you to engage more with the public or policymakers you can find various resources and tools to help you on the outreach and policy sections of the EGU website.

A big thank you to all of the speakers and Dr Francesca Pianosi, the moderator of the session. If you missed the session or would like to see it again, you can watch the web streamed version in its entirety here.

Watch the talk

Credit to the EGU blog GEOLOG and Chloe Hill